Kindness As Content Vs Kindness As Context

Posted by Abhishek Thakore on Dec 26, 2014
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As I was reading the source document of the Hunger Project a very useful distinction opened up....

I always look at some people from Service Space and wonder how kindness comes so naturally to them? (That would actually be most people in the space I guess)

To me kindness has been much more sporadic - a doing that happens when there is some degree of effort, almost. It's a running joke I have with Akshat about 'DOING my random act of kindness for the day' (and feeling like I got done with it atleast for today).....

And any 'effort' to be kind to me feels un-natural....it is only kindness that naturally spings forth that to me feels right....

So as I was reading this document, there was a very interesting idea around content and context. 

To cut the long story short, I find myself looking at kindness as the 'content' of my life - as a series of acts that are DONE, and are nice to do. Life throws some opportunities to be kind (and when I pick a kindness card, there is another suggestion of an action that I do)

There is a lot of doer ship, there are discrete actions and there is also looking for the appropriate opportunity - that feels like kindness as CONTENT of life

But then there is kindness as context - when the whole world occurs as a space to express kindness, every moment. There are no 'acts' or doership, there is just being kind because that is the way. It is the larger universe in which life happens - so actions of being kind are not literally 'acts' - they are just the way things are.

That kindness as CONTEXT has a very different quality - because there is very little effort, very little looking for 'opportunity' to be kind, there is very little 'act' based kindness...

While kindness content is a good starting point (tagging, smile cards et al), the eventual movement to kindness as a context is probably what we are exploring - because once that happens, we don't need to pull out a smile card (except as another playful way of being kind)

Would love to hear thoughts and responses :)
 

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Comments (3)

  • Michaele Premet-Rosen wrote ...

    Agree..."that IS the way". It becomes part of our DNA , I think. :)

  • Birrell Walsh wrote ...

    Thank you. As a founding member of Grouches Anonymous, I find the idea of contextual kindness interesting. Your statement
    "There are no 'acts' or doership, there is just being kind because that is the way. It is the larger universe in which life happens - so actions of being kind are not literally 'acts' - they are just the way things are"
    suggests an addition -
    "No doer-ship implies no doer. It becomes difficult to say who exactly is being kind. Am I a giver, a receiver, or a way-station of kindness in its travels?"

  • Abhishek Thakore wrote ...

    Wow Birrell....that is such a lovely point...maybe there is kindness and we are the empty spaces it traverses through! :)